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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

ing away at the men's dinners. Very few of us ever
saw the Corps Commander again. It was a comfort
to know that Allenby, at any rate, could be rude to
him if he wanted to.

We started from Beauval at four o'clock on a sunny
afternoon and went another eight miles to a place
called Lucheux. . . . There is nothing in all this, the
reader will expostulate. But there was a lot in it, for
us. We were moving steadily nearer to the Spring
Offensive; for those who thought about it the days
had an ever intensifying significance. For me, the
idea of death made everything seem vivid and valu-
able. The War could be like that to a man, until
it drove him to drink and suffocated his finer appre-
hensions.

Among the troops I observed a growing and almost
eager expectancy; their cheerfulness increased; some-
thing was going to happen to them; perhaps they be-
lieved that the Arras Battle would end the War. It
was the same spirit which had animated the Army
before the Battle of the Somme. And now, once again,
we could hear along the horizon that blundering
doom which bludgeoned armies into material for
military histories. "That way to the Sausage
Machine!" some old soldier exclaimed as we passed
a signpost marked Arras, 32 k. We were entering
Doullens with the brightness of the setting sun on our
faces. As we came down the hill our second-in-
command (a gentle middle-aged country solicitor)
was walking beside me, consoling himself with
reminiscences of cricket and hunting.

Thus the Battalion slogged on into an ominous
Paster, and every man carried his own hazardous